Monday, October 31, 2016

The Heart of Romans Chapter 5

Every trial comes down to the moment of the final argument. It’s called the summation. It is when the attorneys summarize the important points and end with a therefore. Therefore is the call to the decision based upon all the evidence.

In one of the most historic trials in modern history, after all the evidence had been presented, Johnnie Cochran, in behalf of O.J. Simpson, told the jury, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” That therefore was a pivotal point in the trial.

We are familiar with therefores. That after going through steps, therefore we reach a result, that after working through a process, therefore we come to a conclusion, that after putting all these ingredients in the pan and baking them in the oven, therefore we have cake. The result follows the therefore. Back up all the dots that are to be connected and this is what you end up with.

Romans 5 begins with therefore.

Therefore – in light of all the dots that have been connected, understanding we are made right with God by His grace and not our efforts, that in believing and giving ourselves to that belief He has declared us right with Himself, and now we stand before Him approved, accepted and justified forever. These details lead us to the next truth.

Rom 4:22-25 – Abraham was the prototype of how a person is made right with God. So, we, by following his example may know we are right with God as well.

Vs. 1 – With that established…having been justified, we now can eat our cake—have peace with God. 

Why not Heaven? Isn’t that the goal of salvation? Salvation isn’t to get us into Heaven but to get Heaven into us. What was the gift? Eternal life. When?

The result of having Heaven in us is Peace. I didn’t know He was ever upset with me.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them…so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Rom 1:18-21)

Paul is describing someone who will not honor Him as God in their life. Therefore those people live underneath the wrath of God.

But: When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col 2:13-14)

He paid the debt we owed.

Hostility was the effect of God’s wrath against ungodliness. We carried that hostility like a sentence awaiting execution. Like a backpack filled with rocks.

But, therefore, after God declared us right with Himself, that hostility was removed. Instead of carrying the weight of God’s wrath, we now experience peace with God.

Paul called it being justified – just as if I’d…never sinned. Justified is the condition of being restored back to what Adam lost in the garden.

Vs. 2 - Exult: to boast – difference between boasting and bragging.  Boasting is declaring importance. We don’t boast of unimportant things.

Grandparents boast of their grandkids as their highest joy. When does that turn into bragging, when they try to tell me their grandkids are smarter, cuter, funnier, more talented than mine.
Bragging is an over-inflated opinion brought on by prejudice.

            Look at me, look what I did, what I can do, what I have. Bragging inflates me.

What is your boast? Your boast is what you declare as your highest honor, privilege, experience, joy. Boasting inflates the cause, influence, effect, the person through whom you found your delight. Crediting sources and abilities beyond yourself.

Paul’s point: We boast in our highest privilege – in the hope of God’s faithfulness coming through in all things. Look at what God has done in my life.

Me bragging about my ability, talents, skills does you no good. But my boasting in what the Lord has done can bless you because He can do the same and even more so in your life as well.


Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matt 5:16)

If you see God in my life, you will see hope for your own life.

We exult in hope of the glory of God. We boast in the hope we have in God accomplishing His purposes in our lives.

Vs. 3-5 – Also, we boast in our tribulations. Not brag about what we’re going through or have gone through or how adequate we are to suffer, but that our tribulations demonstrate God’s faithfulness in all things.

Paul heard God say: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor 12:9)

All we go through brings us back to the essentials of faith: trusting in the adequacy of God. Counting on Him working all things to our good, accomplishing what concerns us, blessing us with all spiritual blessings.

Vs. 6-8 – Recall – remember – remind – don’t forget the dots that led to our therefore – OT said: tie these reminders on your hand or place them on your foreheads.

Each time we remember what God did, we know that same God is at work accomplishing things this very moment and will continue doing so into the future.

Vs. 1 Having been justified – we have peace with God.
Vs. 9-11 Having been justified, much more then…we shall be saved – God’s on-going work in our lives.

Vs. 17 – what used to reign over us, control us, has been overtaken

Jesus’ death broke sin’s power over us and now there’s a new King on the throne of our life. By the power of His overcoming life, we can overcome in life.

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child born of Him. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 Jn 5:1, 4-5)

How do we overcome in life? By trusting in Him: Who He is and what He can do. Bringing Him into every moment of our lives.

Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, (2 Cor 3:4-6)

I am not adequate but He is!

Greatest hindrance to overcoming? Questioning whether there is another way available.

Now when John, while imprisoned, heard of the works of Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to Him, "Are You the Expected One, or shall we look for someone else?" Jesus answered and said to them, "Go and report to John what you hear and see: the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. (Matt 11:2-5)

John, stop looking away from Me and look at Me. Look at who I am. Look at what I am doing. Haven’t you read the Book? Don’t you know what I am capable of?

I believe in God, not because my parents told me, not because the church told me, but because I’ve seen His goodness and mercy myself—in my darkness, I’ve seen His light, in my despair, I’ve felt His hand, in my pain, I’ve known His comfort. And in whatever I’ve yet to experience, I’ve already read of His faithfulness in His Word.

Therefore: I’m already in Heaven because Heaven is already in me.

1.       The result of sin is death; the gift of God is life – choose life!
2.      That life is full of benefits and blessings that can carry us through any situation.
3.      Because Jesus overcame, we can overcome the powers, influences, and obstructions that would hinder the success of that life.

4.      Therefore, boast of the goodness of God in your life.

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